Keynote Speaker

Valerie Cummins, University College Cork, Ireland

Dr Val Cummins is managing director of the Emerald floating wind joint venture partnership between the Simply Blue Group and Shell. She joined Simply Blue as an executive director in 2021 as Ireland Projects and Operations Director. Simply Blue is a blue economy developer, with a focus on floating wind, wave and low impact aquaculture. Val’s move to industry was inspired by a desire to have an impact on the energy transition and to lead blue growth initiatives in a company that is dedicated to Sustainable Development Goals for the oceans and seas. This followed 21 years as a researcher and academic in University College Cork, where she developed a track record in the field coastal and ocean governance, and was awarded for her leadership in building research capacity in  marine science.  She now has responsibility for an international, multidisciplinary team working on delivering a circa 1.3GW floating wind farm off the south coast of Ireland, in the vicinity of the Kinsale gas field which is currently being decommissioned. She seeks to inculcate the values of integrity, diversity, courage, passion and responsibility in projects and processes, particularly in stakeholder relations. Val is working to influence future energy policy and supply chain development for floating wind in Ireland through her role as Chair of the Wind Energy Ireland FLOSH Committee (Floating offshore wind, supergrid and hydrogen); as a council member of Wind Energy Ireland; and a council member and non-executive director of the Marine Renewables Industry Association (MRIA). Val is an Eisenhower Fellow, and has participated in Women in Leadership executive training at Harvard University. She is co-editor of the Coastal Atlas of Ireland, which will be launched by Cork University Press in September this year. A career highlight has been to serve as co-chair of Future Earth Coasts from 2016 to 2020, facilitating the development of a community of scientists and practitioners from around the globe with a vision to support transformation to a sustainable and resilient future for society and nature on the coast.  She now serves as a member of the Future Earth Coast Academy. She is married with three young daughters and relishes living in Cork Harbour.

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  • Elsevier
  • ECSA